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The Tea on LinkedIn Conversation Ads
BySophie Gosman
The Tea on LinkedIn Conversation Ads

The Tea on LinkedIn Conversation Ads

Everything you need to know 

LinkedIn’s newest paid messaging format is the conversation ad. What makes this new kid on the block stand out from traditional ‘message ads’? Not only do conversation ads allow you to directly pop into your prospects’ inbox with a targeted message, but go a step further and initiate a “chat-like experience” with them. Have questions? We’re not surprised. This may be one of the most sophisticated and interesting ad formats yet. Let’s learn more. 

What are LinkedIn conversation ads?

So, you know LinkedIn conversation ads are a new messaging ad format and that they try to replicate an instant messaging experience. As Jason Widup from puts it, they’re essentially “choose your own adventure” interactive chatbots. But, what does this really mean? Basically, you design a number of predetermined responses, feed them into your conversation ad and voila! A tailored, interactive messaging experience with your prospects. Then you simply pick a sender, your recipient and appear in their inbox.

You can use this savvy ad format in tandem with a number of different objectives from brand awareness to website conversions, lead generation and website visits. Meaning it’s highly versatile and also, aligned with the desires of 89% of consumers who would like to use messaging with businesses. Plus, one of the major benefits of conversation ads is that they typically have very low cpcs compared to other formats, allowing you to provide a heavily customised advertising experience at scale.

How to set up a conversation ad

  1. Set up your campaign 

Like any other ad format, in order to create an ad you need to have an existing campaign that uses the same ad format or you need to set up a fresh campaign. This means choosing your objective, audience, offers and bids before you can get started. We have a whole article on LinkedIn campaign management set up to help you if you’re a first timer or just want to make sure you nail it. The most important stuff sits before you get to ad creation, so in order to get great results, a solid campaign foundation needs to be there.

Is there anything specific you should know for this ad type when it comes to campaign set up? Nope. You set up a conversation campaign just as you would any other ad format – just make sure to select “conversation ad” when given a choice. When it comes to choosing an objective, you can choose website visits, lead generation, conversions or awareness campaigns depending on your goals. 

  1. Choose your sender

After your campaign is all set up and ready to go, it’s time to create your first conversation. And the first step here is to choose a sender. While it may seem trivial, this is actually a very important decision, as it can really impact performance. As we cover later in more depth, we’d recommend choosing a member sender rather than a company. And making sure that the person who is chosen has an appropriate title and public LinkedIn picture. Plus, an updated profile with plenty of connections back to the company. People are likely to click through to the sender profile and you want them to be impressed by / have trust in the person they are presented with. 

  1. Make a good first impression

After your sender is chosen, decide on your opening message. There should be an attempt at an introduction here – who are you (the sender) and why should the recipient care? Provide some details about yourself and explain why what you have to say is important and relevant to them. 

  1. Decide on your CTAs

Next, decide on the CTAs you want to deploy. Uniquely you have the option of up to 5 in each message. It’s important to choose at least 2 in each message to give the best chance of appealing to the receiver and encouraging them to interact. We’d recommend around 3-4 as a sweet spot.

  1. Craft a series of personalised, engaging messages 

Your conversation should have at least 2-5 layers (each consisting of at least 2 CTAs and a message text). With this in mind, you need to prepare a bunch of different messages to go with your chosen CTAs that all align with your broader objective. Make sure each individual message adds something different to the mix, is compelling and personalised. You have a choice of using information like their name, job title, company etc.

  1. Test & launch

Now it’s time to duplicate your ad and set up a couple of variations e.g. you could test different senders against each other, or a different opening message. And then, your conversation ad campaign is set up and ready to go to market. Wasn’t that hard was it? 

How to captivate with your conversation ads 

So now you know the basics of conversation ads, what they are and how to set them up, it’s time to run through some best use tips for using them effectively. Hold on to these and you’ll be sure to get the most bang for your buck.

  • Use a member sender over company sender – LinkedIn has proven that member senders generally outperform company senders. It’s no surprise that people like to feel like they’re messaging a real person (not a programmed bot or brand)! Make sure you choose your sender carefully though with a professional, non-creepy face.
  • Make the first sentence pop – conversation ads don’t have a subject line, they just show up in a prospects inbox as a part of the first line. For this reason, you need to make sure your first sentence pops! Try testing a question, calling out the persona or addressing a pain point. Don’t miss any opportunity to hook, line, sinker.
  • Use a mix of different CTAs – With conversation ads, unlike other formats you have the option to add up to 5 CTAs to your ad. Along with the “Choose your own adventure” energy, we’d encourage you to give as many relevant options as possible to engage with you. In this case more is more!
  • Keep things clear & conversational – Like many ad formats, including LinkedIn carousel ads, we’ve found a more informal, personal approach to your messaging reeps better rewards. You don’t want to scare away prospects with complex concepts or unfamiliar terminology. Like website copywriting, the simpler the better.

Conversation ad examples

Now you understand what conversation ads are and how to use them, let’s look at A+ example, as given by LinkedIn themselves to hype you up for success. The company behind this one is J.P. Morgan. 

LinkedIn summarises the strategy and success here:

To engage these key audiences in a two-way conversation, J.P. Morgan used Conversation Ads to allow users to learn more while staying in their LinkedIn Messaging. The ads closed on a strong call to action, such as “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Watch the video” and received click-through-rates well above benchmark.

Create compelling conversation ads today

That’s it! We’ve given you the lowdown on conversation ads and given you some tried & tested tips and inspiration to get you going. Experiment with this new ad format today and see how it works for you. 

Want to take your LinkedIn campaigns to the next level (beyond new ad formats)? Our LinkedIn optimisation tool, Campainless, provides you with AI-driven alerts, recommendations, best practice tips & more to ensure you get the most out of your campaigns.

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